This month started with the best intentions and I went about halfway only having purchased a DVF clutch and a pair of inexpensive earrings, plus I snagged a pair of patent pink loafers entirely on a gift card. At $140 spent, I was feeling awfully smug with my self control. And then the Shopbop sale happened where I picked up the slides I was crushing on, and it all kind of went down hill from there. All in all, though, I hadn’t spent much on accessories this year or last so it was nice to add a few pairs of earrings to my collection that should get plenty of love this summer, and I’m already getting a lot of use out of the clutch and sandals.
A couple of months ago, Kristen asked how I set my quarterly budget because it seemed to be on the high side and, well, it is high. I thought I’d recap my response to her in case others were wondering about this, too. And, I know this is going to be a somewhat vague answer without going into my entire financial situation because while I think there’s value is sharing what items bloggers actually purchased with their own money and what were complimentary samples, it does need to be balanced with financial privacy. Overall, though, the large high dollar amount is due to incorporating blog income into my budget (although, trust me, it’s not that much!) and a freelance project that I had worked on with eBay. Last year’s freelance project offset all of my clothing spending, plus padded my savings account. Since the income I make from that is outside of my 9-to-5 job, I treat it as “fun” money to supplement what would be a more modest budget. I also don’t spend a lot right now on other areas of my life, which allows me to spend more on clothing. That’s definitely going to change once we buy a house, though!
Second Quarter Budget: $685 ($850 with a $165 deficit from last quarter)
Spent in April: $298
Amount Remaining: $387
See all of this year’s sartorial purchases here.
- Ann Taylor Raffia Statement Earrings ($25; seen here): These are such a surprise to find at Ann Taylor. As much as I love the retailer for work clothing, they’re not on my list of must-visits when I’m looking for jewelry. These earrings are wonderfully oversize and I found them to be lightweight.
- Diane von Furstenberg Bullseye Nubuck-Leather Clutch ($115; worn here): I was crushing on this clutch ever since I included it in this post. I thought it would be the perfect pint-sized piece to carry my essentials when I don’t want to bring a larger purse, and it turned out to be so much better than that. The leather is soft and buttery, and the snake chain wrist strip is elegant. It fits more than you’d expect, too. I can fit my iPhone, card case, lipstick, keys, and a small mirror.
- G.H. Bass & Co. Brice Patent Penny Loafer in Pink ($0; worn here): I kept going back and forth on these at Nordstrom where they were still full price at $110. I randomly did a search for them on the Bass website and came across the pair for $70. I saved an extra 20% by signing up for store emails. (Granted, I didn’t pay anything out of pocket, since I put this on a Visa gift card that I’ve been holding on to since Christmas.) They run true to size, but if you’re typically on the cusp of two sizes, opt for the smaller one.
- Soludos Knotted Slide Sandals ($80; worn here): I’ve gone on and on about my love of these a couple of times now. They’re really comfortable and the leather is soft enough that there were no blisters from their maiden voyage. The leather is a little squeaky at first, but it goes away with wear. You can also try some leather conditioner to ease the friction. They’re true to size.
- H&M Palm Earrings ($8): They’re big and heavy, and I love them anyway! It’s the best cheap thrill I’ve purchased in awhile, even if the cheap metal will irritate my skin. (What a ringing endorsement, huh?)
- J.Crew Circle Earrings ($0; worn here): The only thing better than the aforementioned $8 earrings are free earrings. I used a gift card I received from taking a survey. I found these to be lightweight and comfortable enough to wear all day and well into the evening.
- Cooperative Tie-Front Striped Mini Dress ($70): The colors are more muted in person and the “white” is really beige. The dress is lined, which was a nice surprise at that price point. The fabric of the bodice is doubled up, which allows ladies with small chests to go sans bra. I went up one size to a 10.
As always, I want to be transparent about what I’ve received from companies for review or as part of a collaboration.
- Welly Merck Classic Chicago Watch in Gold (worn here)
- Garnet Hill Essential Linen Shirt in White (on the blog soon!)
DIDN’T WORK OUT
Things I tried and didn’t love.
- Express Ruffle Surplice Dress: The shape of this dress is adorable, and the low neckline and cinched waist are flattering. However, the quality is pretty poor for the price. It’s not lined and even though I had tried the dress in black, it was still slightly sheer in the sunlight. It arrived as a wrinkled mess from shipping. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to keep it relatively wrinkle-free during the day.
The items I just might add to my wardrobe next month.
- I can’t tell if this dress is going to feel cheap, but it’s worth at least ordering to see it in person since it’s just $49. It’s not lined, which typically bothers me when it comes to flimsy summer dresses because I hate wearing a slip underneath when it’s sweltering. That aside, I keep thinking of how cute it will be with my beloved Soludos slides and a woven bag for trips to the farmers’ market and brunch.
- I’m not really a t-shirt type of girl, but I can’t get over how much I love this one. I want to throw it on with jeans and sneakers for weekend errands. I want to wear it with denim shorts at summer beer festivals. I even want to snag a denim skirt and wear it with that. I don’t understand the fixation I have with it, but it’s real. And I need it. (Yes, I realize that what I consider a “need” is likely different than that of non-fashion-preoccupied people.)
- I don’t think I’ll actually buy this bamboo-handled bag, but it’s so cute, right?! I’ve actually been scouring eBay for a vintage alternative that’s a bit more wallet-friendly.
I’ll be linking up with Fran!